A Brief History of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Omega Psi Phi is the first Greek-letter fraternity founded by African Americans on the campus of a historically black college, Howard University in Washington, D.C.  It was founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University undergraduate students -- Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper and Frank Coleman -- along with their faculty advisor, Professor Ernest E. Just.  From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning "friendship is essential to the soul," the name Omega Psi Phi was derived; additionally, the phrase was selected as the fraternity’s motto.  Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift were adopted as Cardinal Principles.

Since 1911, Omega leaders have developed a strong and viable group of exceptional men.  The fraternity grew exponentially during the 20th Century, primarily evolving into a quality service organization in myriad communities.  Currently, chapters provide advocacy, leadership and service to scores of residents in urban and rural areas.  There are more than 700 active undergraduate and graduate chapters in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia.

For more than a century, Omegas have touched, if not enriched, the lives of countless people around the world.  In this new millennium, the fraternity continues its stellar record of national and international accomplishment in this earthly realm.

Howard University 

Washington, D.C. 

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